Growers - how do you prevent moss in containers?

sweetpea_path(Z8 WA maritime)September 28, 2005

Sure could use some tips for preventing moss from growing on the top of the soil inside containers. I've got a huge crop of 4" lavenders to grow on/overwinter and since I'm in the Pacific northwest now, seems I've got this challenge to meet. Do any of you have a solution for moss prevention? I've heard of using sand or "chicken grit" (like aquarium sand) as a top dressing, but this would add a tremendous amount of weight to each flat, plus, it is prone to washing out easily when using a watering wand.

Anybody heard of doing a copper drench?

My preference would be for an *organic* solution....

Thanks much for any tips.

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Hap_E(z9 Berkeley CA)

top dress with thin layer of 5/16 inch lava scoria. The red gravel will pop the lavender's foilage colar and it will not add that much weight, besides it will give off iron every time you water.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 11:10PM
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weebus(Z8 Sunset 5 WA)

Just about anything you add to the top of the soil is going to result in a pain in the behind down the road. Is the moss a problem because of the difficulty in watering through the mat? Besides a thin layer of perlite, which is what I do, the only other thing I can recomend is not letting the top layer of soil stay moist. Growing lavender helps since it is pretty drought tolerant. I also just no worry about it and every once in a while I dig it out and replace the top of the soil in the container. I realize it is time consuming (not bad tho') I also force to look at each, and every plant, and evaluate how it is faring.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 11:45PM
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A number of commercial growers in this area topdress their containers with agricultural charcoal. It tends to be pretty lightweight, is a natural anti-pathogen and does a great job of retarding weed development as well.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 9:31AM
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I've killed liverwort(related to moss), cress, and other germinating weeds in winter coldframes by spraying undiluted food grade white vinegar on container surfaces. I try to avoid spraying foliage, but have not noticed damage where contact has occurred. These have been dormant cold-tolerant palms and other sturdy types. Every species is different and some would probably be burned by contact with the vinegar.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 8:14PM
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